A three degree of freedom parallel mechanism or linkage that couples three degree of freedom translational displacements at an endpoint, such as a handle, a hand grip, or a robot tool, to link rotations about three axes that are fixed with respect to a common base or ground link. The mechanism includes a three degree of freedom spherical linkage formed of two closed loops, and a planar linkage connected to the endpoint. The closed loops are rotatably interconnected, and made of eight rigid links connected by a plurality of single degree of freedom revolute joints. Three of these revolute joints are base joints and are connected to a common ground. such that the axis lines passing through the revolute joints intersect at a common fixed center point K forming the center of a spherical work volume in which the endpoint is capable of moving. 'Me three degrees of freedom correspond to the spatial displacement of the endpoint, for instance. The mechanism provides a new overall spatial kinematic linkage composed of a minimal number of rigid links and rotary joints. The mechanism has improved mechanical stiffness, and conveys mechanical power bidirectionally between the human operator and the electromechanical actuators. It does not require gears, belts. cable, screw or other types of transmission elements, and is useful in applications requiring full backdrivability. Thus, this invention can serve as the mechanical linkage for actively powered devices such as compliant robotic manipulators and force-reflecting hand controllers, and passive devices such as manual input devices for computers and other systems.